Updated:ORLANDO, Fla. —
It's the biggest timeshare resale scam Action 9 has ever uncovered. One man lost $38,000 to local companies that promised to resell his timeshare.
Action 9's Todd Ulrich found recent police crackdowns only forced some timeshare scammers underground, where they're still targeting hundreds of new victims.
Tom Flynn had a bulls-eye on his back.
"I would say I was set up as a target," he said.
The 80-year-old Colorado man said four central Florida companies called, claiming they could sell his timeshare.
"They promise you
anything. They had done their homework," said Flynn.
One claimed it found buyers, while another said it had signed sales contracts.
First, Flynn and his daughter, Eileen Flynn, had to pay fees ranging from $1,500 to $5,000.
"We were convinced they were sold. They had the buyers' names," said Eileen Flynn.
Before the Flynns realized they had been fleeced, their losses totaled $38,000.
Claiming police were not helping them, the Flynns called Action 9.
One company the Flynns thought was involved was Worldwide Resort
Exchange, which had a Lake Mary address.
"He said he sent this company money because you had buyers," Ulrich said to a manager there.
"OK. The client's name?" asked the manager.
"Tom Flynn," said Ulrich.
The manager told Ulrich Worldwide was a victim, too, and scammers were using its name to rip off consumers.
The Flynn's receipt lists Worldwide's telemarketing license and its credit card account.
"According to him, he sent $5,000 and got nothing for it," Ulrich said.
"I'm trying to explain our transactions don't go up to $5,000," the manager said.
Action 9 tracked many of the other companies and found fake addresses and one that closed.
After a 2011 police crackdown and dozens of manager and employee arrests, timeshare complaints were cut by 50 to 60 percent.
But a new hidden network of scammers seems free to target victims again.
"They're scums. They're crooks. They're liars," said an angry Eileen Flynn.
Lake Mary police said Worldwide has filed several complaints claiming someone used its name to cheat consumers.
The cases are under investigation.